• Development of Resting Cell Assay Protocol to Characterize Sulfolane Degrading Bacteria

      Miller, Joseph; Herriot, Ian; Kasanke, Chris (2014-04-29)
      Sulfolane is a chemical contaminant present in hundreds of commercial and residential drinking wells in the North Pole area. Due to the possible health impacts of consumption, degradation/removal of the sulfolane from contaminated wells is necessary. Microbial isolates taken from sulfolane contaminated sites have shown the potential to degrade sulfolane. It is the purpose of my research to design a protocol by which sulfolane tolerant bacteria could be screened or their potential to utilize sulfolane as a sole carbon source (SOCS), and characterize them as sulfolane degraders.
    • Using an NMR Device to Determine Unfrozen Water Content in Frozen Soil

      Miao, Yan (2014-04-29)
      The overall goal of our research project is to study the unfrozen water mass and mobility in frozen soils. During this project, frozen samples of standard clays with different adsorbed cations will be analyzed to determine their surface potential, micro-fabric, and how they interact with unfrozen water. The amount of unfrozen water content at sub-freezing temperatures is measured using a nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) device. Before using the NMR to test the unfrozen water content, we developed a system to control and stabilize the temperature of the soil sample during the test. We determined that the optimal sample length detected by the NMR is 3.5 cm. Nine duplicate silt samples each with a different moisture content were prepared and tested using the NMR. The result demonstrated a linear relationship between the moisture content of the silt samples and the corresponding NMR signal intensities, thus validating the NMR approach. Future test will be conducted on frozen cation-exchanged clay samples to determine their unfrozen water contents as a function of temperature.
    • Alaskan Lowbush Cranberry Extends Lifespan in C. elegans

      Lipscomb, Justina (2014-04-29)
      I tested the hypothesis that lowbush cranberries affect healthy aging in a dose dependent manner. This was done by observing the effect of cranberry extract on the lifespan of wildtype Caenorhabditis elegans. Results of the project may be useful in understanding what components of botanicals extend lifespan and provide neuronal protection. Using Alaskan botanicals provides a local focus, as well as having ethnobotanical value in studying the medical potential of traditional foods. The effect of lowbush cranberry was tested by running C. elegans lifespans at various concentrations of botanical extract. The extract was also tested for anthocyanin concentration, to provide insight on how anthocyanin affects healthy aging.
    • The Effects of Grade on Gap Acceptance at the University Roundabout in Fairbanks, Alaska

      Amundsen, Grace (2014-04-29)
      The purpose of this study was to analyze gap acceptance at the University roundabout. Values for critical gap calculated from this data can be used to predict the capacity of a roundabout. After videotaping traffic, the data was reduced and analyzed using both Greenshields’ and Raff’s (both graphical and equation based) methods. The variable being evaluated was whether grade of a roundabout approach has an appreciable effect on gap acceptance. After evaluation it was determined that the differences were not statistically significant, and that, therefore, the difference in grade of the approaches did not have an appreciable effect on gap acceptance for the roundabout.
    • Response of Glacier Melt and Discharge to Future Climate Change, Susitna Basin, Alaska

      Aubry-Wake, Caroline; Hock, Regine; Braun, Juliana; Zhang, Jing; Wolken, Gabriel; Liljedahl, Anna (2014-04-29)
      A large dam for hydropower with a 67 km long reservoir is proposed in the Susitna basin, leading to multiple studies of the basin. This study focuses on the response of climate change of the Susitna basin glaciers and the effects on basin discharge.
    • Topographic Development History of the Alaska Range

      Davis, Kailyn N. (2014-04-29)
      The overall goal of this project is to use variations in sediment source through time as a proxy for deciphering the uplift history of the Alaska Range (Fig. 1). In particular, we tracked variations in sediment provenance through time for the Oligocene to present Tanana Basin. The three main sediment source regions are north of the Alaska Range, south of the Alaska Range, and from the Alaska Range itself (Fig. 2). Furthermore, we will use the sediment source interpretation to test the hypothesis that the Nenana River changed direction during the Miocene (23 Ma to 5.3 Ma) (e.g. Brennan, 2012)
    • Graphical Technology Information Dissemination

      Andrews, Aaron (2014-04-29)
      Graphical technologies cover a wide range of topics from the modeling software used by animators, to algorithms used in scientific simulations of natural phenomena, to the growing 3D printing industry. While graphical technologies are still relatively new, information regarding these subjects have many outlets in the form of Internet blogs, online magazines, and websites devoted to the changes and advances of these technologies. Example topics include the latest tools in Adobe Photoshop, the algorithms used in a recently released Disney movie, or the newest video card to hit the market. This poster will present what aspects of graphical technology are of interest to different disciplines, namely programming, business, art, and engineering. These results will show which, if any, aspects of graphical technologies impact these fields, and how this technology will grow to be used in the future.
    • Preparation of a Novel Frequency Doubling Coordination Complex

      Duncan, Julia (2014-04-29)
      The goal of this project was to synthesize an organic ligand that can be used to make a coordination complex with the appropriate structural features to produce frequency doubled light. Partial synthesis of the ligand was accomplished as confirmed by proton nuclear magnetic resonance ( 1 H NMR) spectroscopy and electrospray mass spectrometry. Additional steps remain to be explored and completed, yet it is expected that the chiral nature of the target ligand will fulfill the structural criteria necessary for frequency doubling in the crystalline phase.
    • Undergraduate Research Initiation and Exploration

      Jones, Emily (2014-04-29)
      This URSA project’s overreaching goal was to become more exposed to research while working with a graduate student as a mentor. This was accomplished by completing tasks such as data collection related to Matthew Balazs’ research on slope deformation and hazard analysis in Seward and Whittier, Alaska. Along with those tasks, I learned to write my own research proposals and became more exposed to other students’ research by attending thesis defenses. Lastly, I studied ArcGIS and then later applied it within my own small research project. This project was very important for my student career and has inspired me to pursue more undergraduate research along with helping other undergraduates find research opportunities. None of this would have been possible if it was not for the URSA Graduate Student Mentorship Award that was granted to Mathew Balazs for the summer of 2013.
    • Relationship between trophic level and total mercury concentrations in 5 Steller sea lion prey species

      Johnson, Gabrielle; Rea, Lorrie; Castellini, J. Margaret; Loomis, Todd; O'Hara, Todd (2014-04-29)
      Total mercury concentrations [THg] were measured in 5 Steller sea lion finfish prey species collected in the eastern Aleutian Islands to determine if the amount and/or variation in mercury in select prey could explain the wide range of [THg] in sea lion pup hair and blood (Castellini et al. 2012, Rea et al. 2013). Atka mackerel (ATMA; Pleurogrammus monopterygius), Pacific cod (PACO; Gadus macrocephalus), walleye pollock (WAPO; Theragra chalcogramma), arrowtooth flounder (ARFL; Atheresthes stomias), and Kamchatka flounder (KAFL; Atheresthes evermanni) are known or suspected Steller sea lion diet items (Sinclair and Zeppelin 2002) and thus were chosen as the first focal prey species for this preliminary study. Fish samples (20 individuals per species) were collected and donated by Ocean Peace Inc. from winter 2013 commercial operations in fisheries management area 541. Fish were frozen whole at sea and subsampled at the UAF Wildlife Toxicology Lab for mercury and stable isotope (δ13C and δ15N) analyses. The [THg] increased with fork length (fish length) and mass in PACO, KAFL and ARFL (p<0.05) suggesting mercury bioaccumulates with age. PACO and KAFL showed significantly higher [THg] than WAPO, ATMA, and ARFL (p<0.05) although no concentrations exceeded 0.18 μg/g, ww. Thresholds of concern for human consumption of fish are 1 μg/g, ww. More enriched stable nitrogen isotope values in PACO and KAFL (12.9±0.9 and 12.2±0.3 respectively) suggest that these fish were feeding at a higher trophic levels than the ATMA, ARFL, WAPO (10.5±0.4, 11.5±0.5 and 10.5±0.8 respectively) which could explain the slightly higher mercury levels in these two species.
    • Pilot Study: Near Death and Exceptional Life Experiences

      Miner, Ginny; Schell, Lynea; Tyson, Dj (2014-04-29)
    • Place Naming Strategies in Lower Tanana

      Harris, David Jason (2014-04-29)